Speculation has been swirling in reference to Dansby Swanson’s motivation to sign with the Chicago Cubs in free agency. Many believe the fact that his wife Mallory Pugh plays soccer in Chicago drew him to the team. He also received a lucrative 7-year, $177 million deal from the Cubs. However, Swanson revealed the heartwarming reason he wanted to play for the Cubs, per Talkin’ Baseball.
“Being a Cub means more to me than people would realize,” Swanson said during his introductory press conference with the team. “It’s no secret that I left my hometown team to be here…. Mallory and I got married December 10th. The next morning we found out that my grandfather was not doing so well, that he was in hospice. We pretty much left our wedding venue the next morning, drove home, and basically had to rush over to the senior living facility where he was at.”
Dansby Swanson took a moment as he fought back tears before continuing his story.
“He (Swanson’s grandfather) ended up passing away the day after we got married,” Swanson continued. “Every day when I would come home from school, I would run up to his house. I’d run in and pretty much demand that he’d come outside and hit me ground balls which he would always do.
But every time we walked in he would have a Cubs game on… I was like ‘Pops, we’re in Atlanta dude, we’re Braves fans.’ He loved baseball so much… having won a championship in Atlanta for one of his favorite teams, we just felt that the Cubs, which were his second favorite team, that bringing a championship to this city was just what we felt called to do.”
Dansby Swanson added that playing for two of his grandfather’s favorite teams means the world to him.
Swanson will certainly be missed by Braves fans. Meanwhile, Cubs fans are hopeful that the shortstop can lead them back to the World Series.